Reviewing old Advice with Dentist Newington
We were usually taught some basic dental advice by our parents. Most of this remains valid, the only real issue being whether we stick to what we were taught. But sometimes the old advice becomes obsolete in light of new discoveries. So we might find that even though we are dedicated, we are getting some things wrong.
Only Brushing Once per day – Some of us know that we need to brush in the morning to get rid of the bad breath we have accumulated overnight. But we would do better to brush the night before, to prevent the bad breath occurring. Leaving bacteria and food debris overnight in the mouth invites problems, including decays, gum infections and bad breath. So brush morning and night.
Brushing Too Hard – This is one that our parents’ generation got wrong. Tooth enamel is thin, and if we brush too hard, especially with a stiff bristle brush, we will wear away the enamel after a few years. This leaves us with teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
Brush thoroughly, but gently.
Rushing the Process – We should spend two minutes brushing, twice a day. Three times a day is also fine. Anything less than this, and we are probably leaving plaque and bacteria on the teeth.
Not Flossing – There is some debate here, but in the end we have to realise that 30% of the tooth surface is between the teeth. We have to clean this, or we will suffer gum infections and tooth decay. A Waterpik is a good option, but floss is an old yet effective method.
Disinfect first – If we have bleeding gums we risk getting bacteria in our bloodstream. This bacteria in the blood can cause serious long term illness. We can greatly reduce the risk if we use mouthwash or brush our teeth before flossing. These should kill bacteria, so that any bleeding (perhaps from flossing) should not pose a risk.
Brushing too Soon – This is another idea that our parents got wrong. Many foods and beverages will temporarily soften tooth enamel. If we brush when the enamel is soft we will steadily wear it away. Instead of brushing after we eat, we should wait 30 minutes. Drink water and perhaps sugar-free chew gum to clean teeth after eating.
Approved Products – There are toothpaste and toothbrushes that are Dental Association approved (ADA) available in most stores. Avoid anything in ‘dollar shops’ or discount barns that do not have this approval. Even if they have the same brand name they often have different ingredients. Use trusted products only.
Regular daily brushing and regular dental appointments will keep our teeth in the best health possible. Avoid many problems by looking after your teeth.